Suggested Hardware

Photoshop is a great tool right out of the box. However, there are a few things that will help you get more work done. The order in which you add these items on will vary, depending on your work environment and budget. I will not assume you have any of these, other than access to a video monitor in either NTSC or PAL (depending upon your country).

A second computer monitor. Once you've gotten used to having your palettes open, you'll never be able to go back to opening and closing windows and tabs all day long.

As much RAM as you can hold. RAM has been getting cheaper and cheaper. Fill your computer up with at least 2 GB for heavy lifting.

A FireWire Bridge/DA converter. Photoshop can send out video previews via FireWire, which allow for more accurate judgment regarding color and flicker.

An NTSC/PAL monitor. This lets you can check your work before going into the edit suite.

A scanner that matches your imaging needs. I own four scanners. None of them had a price tag of more than $400, and they all work great for video. In fact, the $99 portable one scanned several photos in this book. Scanners have come a long way in recent years.

An NTSC monitor.

For Mac users, a two-button mouse. Because clicking gets a little old after a while. Many options are available these days, since USB became a common standard between Mac and Windows.

A good set of keyboard and mouse wrist guards.

Sore wrists get in the way of what you are trying to accomplish.

A tablet and pressure-sensitive pen. These can be used for both fun and serious work. A little bit of digital doodling can be a relaxing activity. Moreover, a pen is often an easier input device than a mouse or trackpad for realistic brushstrokes and tracing activities.

A Pantone color book. So that you have some sort of reference guide for matching the PMS logo colors that your clients give you.

A card reader for transferring digital photos. There are multiple format readers available. Get one that is self-powered and supports what you use—such as CompactFlash, SmartMedia, or a Memory Stick.

A Wacom tablet.

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